Bear Bounty Review
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Editors' reviewMany manufacturers are on board with creating bows designed specifically for female shooters. For 2015, Bear has designed the Bounty for just that purpose. With a 29 3/4-inch axel to axel measurement, and an overall weight of merely 3.2-pounds, the Bounty is perfect for smaller framed shooters and a variety of hunting situations. The Bounty's peak draw weight is 50-pounds, (also available in 40-pound maximum limbs), and the draw length ranges from 23.5-27-inches, which should meet the needs for many female archers. The Ready to Hunt package includes Trophy Ridge accessories, which some may choose to upgrade. However, for a fully set up rig with an MSRP of only $599, the Bounty is a decent purchase.
FinishThe finish of the Bear Bounty bow is the same as the rest of the Bear lineup in regards to having Realtree applied through a dipping process. The Realtree Max-1 pattern is a great pattern for a variety of environments, and is fairly popular in the hunting community, which means accessories also dipped in the same pattern are available if anyone wants an entirely matching bow. Bear also understands some female shooters love pink and others do not. Therefore, they love the decision for the pink accent color up to the shooter. Those wanting the pink strings and graphics can, and those that do not can opt for the Bounty without pink. The pink and camo bow will come with camo dipped limbs; however, the option without pink will have black limbs.
Ready to Hunt PackageThe Bear Bounty comes with Bear's Ready to Hunt (RTH) package. This package can be a bonus, or in some cases a negative. For those just starting out in archery, and not entirely sure which accessories to choose, the package is going to be great. For shooters wanting specific accessories, the RTH package may be replaced with those preferences. In this case, although the bow is priced pretty well, the shooter will be purchasing accessories they will not use.The RTH package has some decent accessories, although not top of the line. Everything shooters need to start is included with the exception of a release and arrows. The Bounty is equipped with a whisker biscuit rest, a Trophy Ridge 4 pin sight, a Trophy Ridge stabilizer and sling, a Trophy Ridge quiver, a self-aligning peep sight, and a D-loop. This bow will be ready to shoot right after leaving the store for those wanting to keep the bow tricked out with the factory accessories.
RiserThe riser of the Bounty is fairly compact, which is understandable given the axel to axel measurement of 29.75-inches. This short measurement may scare some if they are used to a longer bow, but with the maximum draw length of the Bounty being 27-inches, the compact design should not be too bad in terms of stability in the shooter's hand. The aluminum riser is not much to look at. It has some simple cut outs to keep the weight down, but it is not overly appealing considering some other designs. With that being said, the look really has nothing to do with the performance of the bow. The riser is free from frills and is about as basic as it comes. There is a rear mounting string suppressor to help stop the string after the arrow is shot, but that's about it. There is a Berger hole for mounting the rest, and two holes for the sight to mount onto. The riser does not feature and dampening accessories, but those wanting them could find some aftermarket accessories to add to the bow if they felt it needed any.
GripThe Bear grip follows along the basic design model for the Bounty. The grip is rather thin, and is a designed part of the riser with a screwed in name plate on both sides. This side plate does not add much to the feel and shape of the grip, mostly just displays the Bear name loud and proud on the side of the bow. Depending on the chosen finish, the Bear badge will be white or pink. The feel of the grip is great for those used to a thin handle. If shooters are coming from another design, it may take a little getting used to. However, based on most target set-ups, a thin grip is a little more repeatable and also helps reduce bow hand torque all leading to improved accuracy in the long run.
LimbsBear utilizes the max preloaded quad limbs on the Bounty as well. The split limb design is a familiar one on the Bear lineup and has been featured on their rigs for a while. The Bounty can be purchased in two limb configurations with a maximum draw weight of 40 or 50-pounds. Although this range is not too large, it should be perfect for the target market of those purchasing the Bounty. The limb finish will depend on which finish options shooters decide to go with. The pink package will come with Realtree Max-1 limbs, and the camo version will come with black limbs and orange limb graphics. The limb pockets will match the limb finish as well.
Eccentric SystemThe performance of the Bounty comes directly from the FH2 hybrid cam system. The cam design and the rotating module is great for small framed shooters, and is specifically designed for optimal performance at shorter draw lengths. The FH2 cams rotating module makes it simple to change the draw length within the 3.5-inch range from 23.5-27-inches. Even with 80% let off, the Bounty is able to achieve IBO rated speeds up to 295 feet per second.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe FH2 cam system offers a nice draw cycle to go with an 80% let off. Just looking at the cams will give shooters a sense of whet to expect given the almost circular design. The peek draw weight arrives pretty early, but gradually builds up in a comfortable way. The high 80% let off is easy to get used to and is transitioned into nicely during the draw cycle. The back wall has a little play when shooters are holding on target, but again it has a nice feel. After the shot, the bow is pretty silent and has minimal vibration. There is nothing about the bow that makes the shooter say "Wow," but it does everything decent. The short frame of the Bounty is about right for the shorter draw shooters too.
Usage ScenariosThis bow is designed with hunting in mind, but some ladies may have success on a 3D shoot with it as well. For serious competition, the Bounty is more than likely not the best option. Although the Bounty has a lot to offer any female shooter, it may appeal to those just starting out a bit more than a veteran shooter. The Bounty has a great overall feel, and should be adjustable enough for most female archers. The bow has performance good enough for many hunting situations as well.
Bear Bounty vs. Bear Crux
|Bow||Bear Bounty||Bear Crux|
|Brace Height||7 "||7.5 "|
|AtA Length||29.75 "||30.625 "|
|Draw Length||23.5 " - 27 "||25.5 " - 30.5 "|
|Draw Weight||30 lbs - 50 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||295 fps||320 fps|
|Weight||3.2 lbs||4.0 lbs|
| Where to buy |
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Both of these bows should have a decent amount of appeal to female shooters on the market for a new rig. The Bear Crux does not have a pink finish option, nor does it come with equipped with the RTH package. However, it gets a bit more from a performance standpoint, and has available draw lengths for female archers longer than the 27-inch maximum draw length of the Bear Bounty. Shooters wanting to swap accessories offered on the Bounty anyways, and those not interested in pink, may enjoy the performance boost of the Crux. Both bows are great offerings and have similar characteristics, but there is a market for each.